Friday, September 16, 2011

The Premiership Preview

Another Premiership weekend looms so it's time to analyse the fixtures. First up is an early season relegation battle at Ewood Park where Blackburn host Arsenal. The home fans are planning a protest against Steve Kean and should Rovers suffer a heavy defeat then the Chicken Chiefs from Pune will surely pluck him from the managerial coop.

Villa entertain Newcastle with the Geordies currently enjoying the giddy heights of 4th place. Both sides have huge supports with unrealistic ambition and mid table mediocrity surely beckons for both regardless of the result.

Bolton host a Norwich team that despite gaining many plaudits has to start gathering some points. Everton have the chance to gain a confidence boosting 3 points at home to relegation doomed Wigan and Swansea face West Brom in an intriguing fixture in Wales. Swansea are much in need of a win but West Brom can push their claims for a mid table finish should they win this away fixture.

QPR travel to Molineux in another interesting fixture. Wolves have enjoyed a good start to the season but the visitors have been much boosted prior to the transfer window deadline, both sides will be expecting a win.

On Sunday, Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool travel to White Hart Lane in a fixture that can do much to shape the order of the top 6. Liverpool are fresh from defeat at Stoke and another defeat at an improving Tottenham would take much of the wind out of the early season sails at Anfield. Dalglish has typically started with one upfront -  Suarez - with Carroll on the bench in away fixtures but with Spurs' depleted defensive numbers it will be interesting to see if he decided to be more bold.

Manchester City ran riot on their last trip to the capital but Fulham usually provide tough opposition for Mancunians at the Cottage in what promises to be a tight affair. Sunderland host Stoke in what is rapidly becoming a must win for Steve Bruce. Stoke fresh from their mugging of Jamie Carragher and Liverpool will fancy their chances at the Stadium of Light where Sunderland have lost 9 of their last 11 matches which is relegation form.

The game of the weekend is unquestionably at Old Trafford where the free scoring Champions host a Chelsea side that still seems entirely unsure of itself. ManYoo's approach to the game will be as ever so much of the pattern of the match will depend on how Villas Boas sets his team up. Chelsea currently do not have the players to overpower teams as they used to so he may choose to fight fire with fire by picking an attack minded line up. Much of the focus for Chelsea as ever will centre on Fernando Torres and in particular this time whether AVB keeps faith with the non scoring Spaniard. For the sake of his confidence and for building the understanding with Juan Mata it would seem prudent to do so. Regardless of the team that Chelsea put out, ManYoo should at this juncture have too much fire power for them and a home win is surely odds on - No Nonsense.